What finger does a wedding ring go on? Not sure about which hand you should wear the wedding ring on? This article might be the guide you have been looking for. In it, we look at the meanings of different ring fingers, and most importantly, where your wedding ring should be.
Also, do you have to wear your wedding ring on your finger, at all?
Keep reading to find out more about the ideal finger for your wedding ring. Generally, there are numerous customs about wedding rings and where they should be worn, but you don’t really have to stick to those rules if you don’t want to.
So, let’s get started!
What is the Ring Finger Meaning?
Traditionally, you wear the wedding and/or the engagement ring on your fourth finger on the left hand as a romantic gesture. But did you know that this theory/ belief is entirely untrue?
According to the Forevermark spokesman, the ancient Romans held the belief that the ring finger was selected to be the ring finger because of the belief that there is a vein that runs from the ring finger to the heart directly. This vein was referred to as the Vena Amoris or the Vein of Love. With this belief, it made sense for couples in love with each other to wear this symbol of their love/ devotion to their lifeline.
But as we all know today, this vein doesn’t actually exist. Even so, the tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the 4th left-hand finger continues across the generations and cultures, and it appears to be a standard today across the US.
In other countries, however, the ring finger on the right hand was a more popular choice for the brides and grooms in Colombia, Greece, and Russia.
Regardless of the beliefs behind the 4th ring finger, the meaning behind the wedding ring is that the wedding ring symbolizes your eternal love, and it will last through history.
According to wedding ring traditions in Egypt from over 4,800 years ago, the symbol of love is the circle of love that symbolizes eternity, specifically, with no end or beginning. But what you may not know is that the hole at the center of the ring is also important – it’s not plain space, it’s more of a door or a gateway, and so, when you give a ring to a woman, it is a symbol of immortal love.
Essentially, the bride and groom exchange rings during the wedding ceremony, and it’s placed on the 4th finger of the left hand after the couple exchanges their vows.
What finger does a wedding ring go on for a man?
For men, the wedding ring often goes to the left hand. This is the common practice for most American men and most Christians, but for men married in the Eastern Orthodox church, the wedding ring is worn on the right hand instead.
Essentially, you wouldn’t have to worry about which finger you should wear the ring on. But as far as matters symbolism go, the right hand is regarded as the physical hand, the more active and dominant hand that makes for excellent gestures. The left hand, on the other hand, is believed to be the mental hand that represents your beliefs and character.
When it comes down to the right-hand view of the world, a left-handed man will find it easier to reverse the whole ring finger thing. This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t get to wear the ring your way.
That said, here are some of your options:
Right vs. Left Hand
For the most part, you’d have to decide which hand you wear the wedding ring on. Even with cultural beliefs and traditions, and the fact that anything goes anywhere, there are cases where you have to wear the ring on one finger and not on the other.
If you are an Eastern Orthodox, for example, you’d have to keep your wedding band on your left ring finger. Since engagement rings are rare, there really aren’t any set traditions to guide the wearing of the engagement rings by men.
The finger you choose to wear the ring on could also be dependent on the practicality of the ring on the finger and how it makes him feel.
What finger does a wedding ring go on for a woman?
The wedding ring for women goes on the left hand, and on their wedding day, most brides would traditionally choose to wear their wedding rings on their left hand, above or below the engagement ring.
But you don’t have to struggle with traditions, and you can easily go against the grain by wearing the ring on whichever finger you’d like to.
The right hand is, generally, a preferable option for couples in Columbia, Greece, and Russia.
The other countries that have their men and women wearing their wedding rings on the right include Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Germany, and Latvia. This is also the case with Orthodox Christians who wear the wedding bands on the right hand, customarily, as well as India, where the left hand is believed to be dirty and unlucky.
You could, however, choose to go for the more practical option – wearing the ring on your right hand if you are left-handed or on the left if you are right-handed. Doing this is important because it helps to prevent damage to the ring or even scratches.
Regarding wearing the engagement ring with the wedding ring, you could opt to wear your engagement ring on one hand and the wedding band on the other. You could also opt to forgo one of the rings or both rings.
What finger does an engagement ring go on?
The wearing of the engagement ring was first recorded in the 15th Century when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gifted his love, Mary of Burgundy.
Generally, the customs around wearing engagement rings have been practiced by men and women historically. Today, even couples in same-sex marriages wear engagement rings.
Generally, the engagement ring is worn on the left ring finger. The interesting bit, however, is that most people across Europe wore their wedding rings on the right hand, and on the wedding day, they choose to transfer the engagement ring to the right during the wedding.
On the other hand, the betrothed couples in Brazil and Columbia wear their engagement rings on the right hand, and after they are done exchanging their vows, they move the engagement ring to the left hand, keeping the wedding ring on the right hand.
Swedish brides, on the other hand, wear their unique wedding ring sets on the one hand. This set features the engagement ring, the wedding band, as well as the motherhood ring.
What finger does a promise ring go on?
While the traditional promise rings date back to ancient Roman times, a time when betrothal rings were important for young couples, these rings were made out of inexpensive iron.
This trend was later on followed by the rise of the Posie rings in France and England between the 15th and the 17th Century.
At this time, the posie rings were used as tokens, and they were exchanged between the couples/ lovers. These rings were often inscribed with short, beautiful love poems.
Things are a little different now, with the promise rings gifted in the same way as the actual promise rings, where the promise rings have mean different things to different people.
The general idea behind the promise rings is a commitment, and whether the commitment is one for an upcoming engagement, an idea of forever, abstinence till marriage, or just a promise for an immediate future.
So, which finger does the ring go to? Well? When it comes down to the placement of the promise ring, there is no rule that governs which finger the ring should go to.
Therefore, you could wear your promise ring on just any finger, including the designated wedding or engagement ring.
What finger does a gay wedding ring go on?
Oftentimes, same-sex couples also opt for the right hand for the ring, and many people in the LGBTQ+ community wear their commitment rings on the right hand.
What finger does a non-wedding ring go on?
Essentially, you can wear your non-wedding ring on any finger. Generally, the ring finger is believed to be associated with the moon, beauty, creativity, as well as all other obvious associations for romantic relationships.
The metal that’s symbolic of the moon is silver, which makes silver one of the most natural choices for persons looking for non-wedding rings.
These rings can be worn on your fourth finger or any other finger.
The other common options for the non-wedding rings include:
- The index finger/ pointer finger– this finger could be a good option for you because despite being used commonly, it doesn’t interfere with much, including the finger next to it.
- The thumb– the thumb ring might have a bit of an outlandish feeling, but it is a common option for your non-wedding ring.
- The middle finger– this is the other uncommon option for non-wedding rings, but it’s surprisingly a good option for you if you wish to keep the ring small and simple.
- The Fourth Finger– though synonymous with the wedding ring, you could wear the non-wedding ring on the fourth finger too. Just keep in mind that the ring on this finger is often confused with engagement and wedding rings.
- Little Pinky– this is the finger you wear your ring on if you wish to wear a statement ring. The ring on the pinky shows that the ring-wearer has no religious or even cultural associations, and just like the ring on your 4th finger, the ring on the pinky will not interfere with your index finger at all.
What finger does a Jewish wedding ring go on?
In the traditional Jewish ceremonies, the wedding ring goes to the bride’s right hand, on the index finger.
But the traditions could differ too, and some brides wear the wedding ring on the middle finger.
After the ceremony, the ring will be moved to the left-hand ring finger. Some of the Jewish grooms have, however, adopted to wearing the wedding ring too.
When it comes down to choosing the finger that the wedding ring goes, you get to choose what works best for you.
If you are a traditionalist, then the wedding ring might be best-suited on your left-hand 4th finger.
However, some people opt to wear the ring on the right hand because of their cultural beliefs and where they come from, which is why most men and women from Northern Europe and the UK wear the ring on the right hand rather than the left. This is also the case with Indian cultures.
These traditions notwithstanding, you can choose to wear the wedding ring on the finger that feels most comfortable to you.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.